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tv   Melissa Harris- Perry  MSNBC  December 29, 2012 7:00am-9:00am PST

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this morning, my question -- what is next for american labor? and a letter to north carolina's outgoing governor, and plus mhp foot soldiers joining us here in nerdland and what is it going to be, deal or no deal? good morning, i'm melissa harris-perry, and let's start with howie mandel. yes, howie mandel. there is a lot we can learn from him. when you think of howie, you may think of the standup xhecomedia with a surgical glove on his head and he has survived and thrived in the brutal world of entertainment, but this is the howie mandel i'm interested in today. >> deal or no deal. >> you see, it turns out that the howie of deal or no deal might have something to teach us
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about our no deal congress. yes sh yes, nerdland, this is where game theory meets game show theory. this week, i learned that economists study game shows to help them understand high stakes decision making. and in fact, one group of researchers writing for the american economic review are declared "deal or no deal" to have desirable features that it is almost appears to be designed for an economics experiment rather than a tv show. if you don't know the show, the premise is breathtakingly simple. a kconsistent is shown 26 briefcases each containing a hidden amount of money ranging from one cent to $1 million. they can choose one case at the beginning and then case by case, the contestant winnows down what dollar amount was not selected. slowly narrowing down the odds to see if the first chosen case has the big money. after each round, the contestant
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is offered money to sell back the case to the banker, but in this case, the banker is offering not random, but how likely the contestant is going to walk away with the big prize and the goal is to get them to settle for less. that is the suspense, will the contestant take the deal or will she go all of the way! well, washington, will you? will you go all of the way? we are living in an era where politics is about like a game show, and high stakes for big rewards all while playing with borrowed cash. on friday, when the show returned to the regularly scheduled broadcast of high-stakes fiscal cliff hanging, we watched breathlessly with fingers crossed as the congressional leaders met at the white house. just before 6:00 p.m., the president came to the podium to give the latest on where we are, deal or no deal. >> i'm modestly optimistic that
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a deal can be achieved. >> deal or no deal? definitely or maybe. what the president may need for a win is a scene change. >> senators reid and mcconnell are discussing a potential agreement to where we can get a bipartisan bill out of the senate over to the house and done in a timely fashion so that we met the december 31st deadline. but, given how things have been working this this town, we always have to wait and see until it actually happens. >> so there you have it. there will be a deal when there is a deal. i think that is howie mandel had been at the meeting, perhaps thing things have gone better, because he could have given the nation's leaders a lesson on probability 101. this is what we know are the the his own fiscal cliff show. most of the contestants make a choice not dealing with the real world mathematical probabilities of the situation they are in.
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contestants don't look at the innate silver, but they are driven by their emotions. contestants behave in more risky ways and taking bigger chances when less likely to pay off when prior expectations have been shattered by eliminating prior briefcases or other expectations have been surpassed by opening low-value briefcases. in other words, contestants are much more likely to make a deal if they are feeling desperate or feeling lucky based on what has happened earlier. sound familiar, washington? house republicans know that the number of political briefcases has dwindled considerably, and very little chance to win the big payoff and they know that the white house is not in one of those cases. they know that the senate majority is not in one of those cases, but what is likely to be in the case is a further downgrade of american credit. they can hear all of us in the crowd roaring, deal, deal, deal, but they keep holding out for
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what? and at whose expense? because the problem is this that the congressional representatives are not really the contestants, we are. join ming me today from america university and journalist mark steiner who is host of the mark steiner show on pbs, and founder of the center for emerging media, and also from huffpo live, an msnbc contributor and editor, and, and a woman who gave me a holiday and vacation, joy reid, and nice to have you all here. and thank you so much for coming back, joy. i wanted to start with you this morning, what are they holding out for? at this point, three days before we are are heading over the cliff? >> right. >> what are they holding out for? >> well, basically the republicans at this point in the negotiation want three things. they want cuts to entitlement programs because they want to turn around the democrats and say they cut the entitlements.
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and they want to cut food stamps and cut school lunch programs, and thirdly, they want to p protect the wealthiest estates from any changes of the estate tax because they will have to give something on the rates, and they want to push the threathold of the rate increase as high as they could and go back to the $400,000 that they were offered from the president before. >> right. >> and all of that is absolutely true, and also in addition, what we are looking at of course is the poll numbers. when you talked, i thought it was brilliant that you said that we are the cop tes tantntestant the reality when you look at the republican actions in particular, and the republican actions are polling 20% approval and the president is polling 50% approval, but the 20% approval is about the action on the cliff and not how they play in their individual districts. so when you travel around the country, and i have been to e tea party country in arizona, et
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cetera, there is a huge incentive for some of the more junior members of congress to stand their ground. it doesn't have to do with the fiscal math of the country, but it has to do with the electoral math of the home districts. >> and i think that she has put the finger on the thing that we are missing when we taub abolk this, because we act as if congress governs at a body with national interests and held accountable to national constituencies, but no, if it is game theory, each one of them is facing a different payoff structure in their own home constituen constituency. >> and it is skewed. first of all the tea party a minority, but the way that the republicans control the state governmentships and the state legislators, they can shift districts to ensure republican majority in congress which is not real in terms of who the american people are. and that is pa rt of the problem we are facing is that they can play the games, because what is back home is not back home
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except for the twist they want to put on it. >> and this is the critical issue of the 2010 midterms and in a certain way all elections matter, but really they do matter, because they redrew the districts in such a way that make them relatively safe. so even if they make the bad deal, they may open the case that says you are re-elected in 2014. >> that is why you see bay snor who thought he had a great plan, the plan b that would provide his caucus with political coverage to go back to say that we are willing to increase the tax rates, and democrats didn't want to do it, and now we will start over and his own caucus could not get behind that, so even when they have their leader trying to put something before them that will provide political cover for them all, they can't get those numbers to vote for it. so i don't know, even if they kick it up to the senate, if the senate kicks it back down to them, that he is going to be able to get the support he needs in his caucus to pass it through the house. >> speaking of kicking it around, and that is what the
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president said yesterday. he asked that reid go to the up or down vote to see what it is, and what is the politics around that? >> well, john boehner, and it is important to understand that the incentive structure is different for the rank and file and back bench. if you are john boehner, you are more susceptible to the wall street pressure and the can't ter and the people who are aspiring to run for something bigger like paul ryan have a bigger ip sensitive, too. and right now, boehner wants to get re-elected speaker, and so he is trying to walk away from the deal as much as possible to not jeopardize the speakership. so he has technically thrown it to the senate. constitutionally it has to go through both houses. >> just constitutional ly. minor detail. >> and boehner is constitutionally dammed because he is getting out of it and burned too much. so if reid and mcconnell can get through the deal that is not filibustered, they have to amend
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a bill in the house that extends the tax cuts for everybody, and gut that bill, because it has to emerge from there, and then fill it, and hope and pray that boehner can find 30 republicans to vote for it. >> that is the story that you feel when the president is saying that ordinary american citizens can not understand what is happening here and why we can't when there is such broad agreement that we don't want taxes to go up on households under $250 and social entitlements that we need there, and we can't get an agreement. stay there, everybody. i want to get truth out of one member of congress, and why? because he is leaving office in a few days, so i figured maybe he is going to give us some straight talk when we come back. hey sis, it's so great to see you. you, too! oh, cloudy glasses. you didn't have to come over! actually, honey, i think i did... oh? you did? whoa, ladies, easy. hi. cascade kitchen counselor. we can help avoid this with cascade complete pacs.
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outside of washington, nobody uns how it is that this seems to be a repeat pattern over and over again. >> that was president late friday expressing a little bit of exasperation over the pace that congress has made in the fiscal negotiations. but this is nothing new for the men and women of the 112. the 112th members of congress is on the precipice of being the least productive since we started keeping track in 1947. they have passed only 219 bills into law making it 100 bills behind the 104th congress who until now has been the most do-nothing of the do-nothing congress congresses. with this, it is no problem to predict the answer to howie mandel's question, no deal. soon to be ex-congressman jason
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altmeyer who is leaving the establishment. >> good to be here. >> can you tell us, since you are soon to leave that building why your colleagues cannot come to a deal on this issue? >> if you look at the political structure in washington, it is divided government and that is what american people vote for most of the time, and you have a house leadership in particular that has a conference that they represent that is almost evenly split between hard-line conservative tea party-type members and more pro business and anti-tax, and i would say more thoughtful members on issues like this, and then of course, the president sitting down at the other end of pennsylvania avenue, and on the senate, it looks like they are starting to work together better than we are in the house, and that is where the deal will be struck. >> and so, congressman, you are someone who had really a record and a reputation for moderation.
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olympia snowe similarly had a reputation for a moderate and in february, she decided to retire and at the time she said, as i have long said what has long motivated me is to produce results for those who have entrusted me to be their champion and i'm filled with that sense of responsibility today as my first day and now it is a my way or the highway ideology. does that ring true for you and part of your decision to leave congress? >> that rings true for both sides, certainly on the republican side, you will see it right in front of us everyday with the tea party faction and speaker boehner's inability to herd the cats that are in the house on the senate side where they have a similar dynamic as senator snowe has outlined and we do it in the democratic party in the house. i'm a moderate member, and we are have purged most of the moderates from the democratic party. when i hear members of the
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democratic party talk about on the republican side how they are divided and what as for it is th -- what a fars it is that they can't get their opinion together, that is true, but on the democratic side, we purge the voice, and it is unified, but taken are the the extreme. you will not get a good outcome that is pleasing to the american people if you are not listening to what the american people want which is members working together and who can compromise and get things done. unfortunately, there is no political payoff for that. you will get ousted from office if you work with to the other side. >> congressman, i want to say that this is clear when you say that a congress does not get things done, and it is not just rhetoric. i nknow in the media, it is breathless, and the bad and the doom and the gloom, but when you look at this, the 112th congress is the least productive congress
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since we started keeping track of this in 1947 and when nancy pelosi was speaker of the house, the 110th congress had roll call votes, over 1,000 roll call votes, and with speaker boehner, only 444 roll call votes leading to 219 pieces of legislation. should the american people feel as though you all are simply not doing your jobs? >> the answer to that question is yes, i think that the american people have a right to be skeptical of the work being done in washington. part of that is the political dynamic. i don't know if i would just count the number of votes. we are not commemorating sports teams and honoring, you know, naming the weeks and the days after which ef vegetable we choose for this week, and national tomato month. but that is something that we don't do in this congress so that the number of votes is going to be a lot less, but the productivity is going to be based on doing what is right for the american people, and doing big things and doing things that
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are going to help the country. i think that the american people are right to look at the output from the legislative standpoint saying that this congress could be doing a lot better. >> thank you, congressman altmeyer, and thank you for taking the time to chat with us about congress and what seems to be going on there. when we come back, we will come back to the table and ask if the 113th can do any better, because congress seems to be playing a game, but the consequences for americans are real. we will talk about that when we come back. droid dna augmentation initiated. vision expanding to a 5-inch 1080p hd display and camera. touch acquiring nfc. hearing evolving with beats audio. wireless charging activated. introducing droid dna by htc.
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sfx- "sounds of african drum and flute" look who's back. again? it's embarrassing it's embarrassing! we can see you carl. we can totally see you. come on you're better than this...all that prowling around. yeah, you're the king of the jungle. have you thought about going vegan carl? hahaha!! you know folks who save hundreds of dollars by switching to geico sure are happy. how happy are they jimmy? happier than antelope with night-vision goggles. nice! get happy. get geico. fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more. just imagine in the money on "deal or no deal" did not contain dollars of the executives, but your household budget. wouldn't you be on the edge of your seat if you knew that one wrong move by the contestant meant that you could not pay for your prescriptions or pay your
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rent or keep your child in day care? that is what is happening in washington. the law employment project estimates that 200,000 americans will stop getting benefits after today, because they have not been authorized and it could cost us more jobs by the end of 2013 if benefits are not restored. marc, this is a real life consequences. yes, it is a fiscal curve, and yes, tax rates are only going to go up a little bit, but for some people, it is a cliff. >> most americans have not benefitted from this economy at all. people are struggling and most people i know are kind of, can i make the mortgage? can i keep my job? this is real for people, and the problem is that one of the things that i have discovered talking to conservative e k economists or progressive left wing economists or whoever i'm talking to say that we are all not asking the right questions and not having an honest debate. the honest debate is that conservative people on the right want less government and destroy
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government to take what people get out of it. a way to end it. so we are not, and the left is not talking anymore about what the real issues are are, and we talked about in the break about social security, and they are going to gut social skuecurity. i'm okay. i'm old [ laughter ] but y'all are going to be in trouble when it comes to social security and your generations will be in trouble when it comes to social security, because they are going to take it back and gut it so people won't get their do. and we talked about, melissa, if they raised the cap and people who made up to $a 500,000 or more a year had to pay social security, there would be no social security problem for 75 years f. we had not raided the trust fund to begin with, there would not be a problem. we are not talking about the real stuff. >> so when we go over the cliff, whicht looks like we will do, we are talking about 2 million people losing unemployment insurance and immediate cuts to
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medicare for the poorest americans, and talking about potentially massive government job layoffs and i don't know, but governments are made up of people who work there, and $65 billion cut to federal programs, and these have real consequences. >> absolutely. when we think of what is going on, we have to put it in the context of american culture, and so i took a trip to japan in november. and one thing they have in common with people of the united states, and they have income from paycheck to mouth to more mortgage to next month situation. there is not a lot of spare savings and that is why people like elizabeth warren and her daughter wrote about the two income trap for working parents. even people who consider themselves middle-class or by economic means middle-class, e
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they don't have a lot of room for error. and when you talk about breaks in employment, you dip into savings and people dip into the retirement funds, so fiscal cliff, we are talking about the national culture whereby in large, we don't have a pad of savings to deal with things like health care costs that we didn't expect or, you know, family income that is missing. so it is part of a bigger picture. >> and if we ef did, that wealth, and that cushion existed in your home and your house, and when the housing mortgage crisis occurs, and that happens and the only cushion that people had, we talk about the possibility of agriculture as part of it and not only a fiscal cliff, but a milk cliff, a nd this one numbe made it are very real for me, and this idea of once we go over the fiscal cliff, it looks like milk being $4 a gallon to $6 a gallon and you and i have teenager type people and adolescents living in the house, and that kind of difference in a household when you have a tight
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budget like farai is talking about makes a huge difference. >> yes. and it shows the piecemeal way we do policy. essentially the reason we go the $8 milk or $6 milk is because we haven't had a true lasting farm bill since the '30s, so every few years we patch the 1938 farm bill and patch it along every couple of years so that if we don't renew the patch, we go back to the old policies from the '30s so you lose the price supports and milk gets more expensive. if we could permanently solve the problem, that would be great, but the problem that we have at a standstill is nothing to do with milk, but it is republicans wanting to take out of the same agent circumstances school lun -- agencies like food stamps as we talked about, and to be fair, they believe there is moral hazard to giving the people the money and they really, really want to cut it. >> they do not want dependent
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6-month-olds, and if you are 2 or 3 years ole and you are still depending on someone to get you food, get your own milk. >> get a job, kid. >> and don't you think that at the end of the day, they can't put a real deal together, they make sure that unemployment stays intact with 250,000 stays intact, and the issue is not what happens when we go over the cliff, but what lousy bargain they put together to stop us are the getting there, and talking about getting together, and talking about supporting trained cpi, and if you are a woman, we disproportionately allow on the services, and we live longer and we will see 85 and that means $1,000 out of a check that you rely on for half-the income is a lot of money. it is easy to talk about the percentages as though they don't affect real people, but $1,000 at 85 is a lot of money. >> it is, first of all, alicia,
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you are the first guest to ever ask me a question which is completely cool and i love that, but as you were asking, i want to know what is the answer to that? are we still going over the cliff? and you are right as joy pointed out, there is a notion that we will get a patchwork and the president called for patchwork yesterday, and at least get the 250 question addressed and make shure that ton employment doesn't, but the bigger problem is that if there is a pressure, deal, deal, deal, and then democrats make the deal. if s if it is a bad deal, you walk away with the briefcase with four cents in it, if you had just made a deal earlier, you could have gotten the big payoff. thank you, all. stay with us, because i have gotten a letter, and my letter this week is to a governor to have a chance to right a historical wrong. ♪
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re-election. from the moment she took office after a razor thin victory she has been in battle duking it offuber cofut over uber conservative legislators. she has bowed out and won't be governor for long, but she has a chance to right an egregious wrong and that is why i decided to send her a letter. dear, bev, it is me, melissa. i must admit i'm sorry to see you go. i once described you as the thin blue line because you have so fearlessly used your office to stop and halt the radical agendas off republicans in north carolina. to protect the state's environment, you vetoed a bill for hydraulic fracking. and you also vetoed a bill that would have increased insurance
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cost for teachers. to shield homeowners you extended the state's emergency foreclosure program. i know it has been hard. i know you have often lost, but you did not shy a wway from fighting the difficult battles when issues of fairness and justice were on the line which is why, as you prepare to leave office next week, i'm going to ask you to take up one last cause and to use the power of your office to do what only you can do. governor perdue, it is time to par d pardon the wilmington ten. as you know 1972 nine african-american men and one white woman were wronglily convicted of firebombing a store. most of them were teenagers ats the time, and despite shaky evidence, the musics and student activists were sentenced to 282 years in prison. governor perdue, you must stated that there is nobody in america who could say that trial was fair or that there wasn't some
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kind of undercurrent or overt racism involved in the jury selection. in indeed it was so overt that three witnesses had recanted their testimony, and in 1980, the u.s. supreme court overturned the convictions noting that the chief witness lied on the stand and chief prosecutors suppressed evidence. and now according to the naacp new notes from the prosecutor said that he racially profiled prospective jurors writing kkk, good, next to some students and referring to one black candidate as an uncle tom. but despite that these people never committed the crime, and the time they lost unjustly incarcerated, they have never been issued a pardon. you can change that. add this letter to the nearly 140,000 signatures on your desk
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right now. it will be your desk for only a few more days. you have one more chance to leave a legacy of fairness and a symbol that the state of north carolina is not stuck in a racist past, but moving to a more just and inclusive future. governor perdue, you vaulted into the state's history as the state's first woman governor and you can do it again. pardon the wilmington ten. do it for the state and the country. sincerely, melissa. ! make a wish! i wish we could lie here forever. i wish this test drive was over, so we could head back to the dealership. [ male announcer ] it's practically yours. test drive! but we still need your signature. volkswagen sign then drive is back. and it's never been easier to get a jetta. that's the power of german engineering. get $0 down, $0 due at signing, $0 deposit, and $0 first month's payment on any new volkswagen.
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and dragged away like trash. in many ways his story was more the norm than the exception, because under the jim crow laws, african-americans had been persecuted for years. but what was unique was that there were published pictures of his body. his mother did something that inspires awe. she allowed "jet" magazine to photograph his brutalized body. there was controversy about her decision and the decision to publish the photographs, and those pictures galvanized a nascent movement. "jet" magazine reported continually on the case for years afterwards. i am telling you this story today, because "jet" magazine is shining a much needed spotlight on the killing of a young black boy whose name might otherwise be forgotten, jordan davis, the young boy who was shot to death after the motorist complain ed
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about a loud music that a motorist was complaining about next to him in a suv. dunn may claim protection under the florida's stand your ground law. and "jet" magazine explores the details of the night that took his life, but introduces us to a 17-year-old who loved to fish with his dad and inspired to be a marine and about to start his first job and now is gone. back with me at nyu journalism professor and radio show host marc steiner, and joy-ann reid from, and now out to mitzi miller. i led with the emmett till discussion, and why did you
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begin with jordan's case for the cover of 2013? >> well, most people understand that conventional publishing wisdom beliefs that you need a celebrity to kick off the year on and up-note, but when i heard the details of jordan case in november, i knew it was important and i knew that we could not be moved to action without it. i knew that people had been moved to action around trayvon, but with the holidays, it is easy to forget because you want to feel good. but as a community, we cannot afford to forget, and we have to stay aware and active and black children are being killed es pebbly in florida and we have to keep raising our voice, and it is "jet's" job and has been historically to make sure that the community is inform and active. >> i want to ask you about that, because there are some viewers who may not get how central jet is to many african-american
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communities in terms of being an information source. you know, my grandmother's coffee table always had it, and any barbershop or beauty salon has had "jet" but some critique over the years that beauty of the week is the most familiar aspect to black leaders and this history of "jet" and you know, but we want to know what she likes to walk on the beach, right. >> listen -- >> is this a turning point to get back to the civil rigthts history? >> well, you know, i think that it is definitely a turning point. we are definitely trying to do more to balance the enterta entertainment, and the important news reporting. we have been doing that ever since i started about two yeas s ago, we have been working to find the delicate balance and making sure that we are informing with current news and things that are relevant to the community and providing the service. because that is what is so important about jet. they don't just inform, but they let others know how to use the information. that is another reason that
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jordan is on the cover, because like i said, we need to be active about this situation. we need to be active about jordan and be active about this l law, and be active about gun control and stay in motion. >> and mitzi, i want to come out of the table for a little bit, because farai, i want to ask you about "jet's" role and this moment, there is a lot of hand wringing about the loss of good old-fashioned journalism and they do not take a position, and shows like this and others where you have somebody behind a desk with a clear point of view is problematic, but when i am reminded of "jet" 1955 or "jet" at this moment, it is a moment to take a position on social injustice. >> absolutely. i go back to the days of the founding fathers and the media that america was built on was actually partisan media and not nonpartisan media, and i'm not making a judgment as to whether there should be one or the other, but there has been a long
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tradition of both, and when america was started and we were a calderon of nascent freedoms and inequalities people laid out the positions in abolitionist newspapers and different types of newspapers. so when we talk about the media that addresses specific social issues including in the african-american context, this is a very important part of how ideas get surfaced. what i'd like to see now is a bridge between newtown, connecticut, and florida and stand your ground. we need to realize that gun violence is inclusive of people of many different racial and economic backgrounds, and that we have a shared incentive in this country to link the tragedies that we are seeing, and to begin to question gun laws on a larger, systemic level. >> and margaret, c, that is wha feels like a sensational story like newtown that deserved every moment of coverage that it got,
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but include all of the missing pieces. >> le me start at a quick place and come right back to that point. when you talk about the modern media, and remember edward r. murrow in the harvest of shame, and he made a documentary saying look at what happened with the farm workers in this country, and it was the segregated people who said no to segregation and forced the major media to come in. media has always been part of the fight for social justice. this is nothing new. i think that we do have to link the stories, and one of the things that happens is that this horrible thing that happened in newtown, but people forget the hundreds of young people who are killed on the streets of chicago over the last five years, who are mostly african-american and mexican children. what happens in baltimore, 212 murders in a city of 600,000 and where both i and farria come from, andt is up acceptable,
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and we do have to bridge it for people wanting the guns and the gun control which we can do. if you study the history, you can study the roots off it and figure out the future. >> mitzi miller, one more question before we head off to commercial, if i'm a "jet" reader, and i see this cover, is this a call to action to me as a "jet" reader? >> absolutely. this is important. it is our job at "jet" to inform this community about what they need to be have in front of mind. this is a case that people need to be talking about as much as they talked about the trayvon case, and the situation in newtown. this is important and gun control is important. jordan has become the face of our community's, for me, i think that he is the new face alongside trayvon of our community's rally to action and feeling like we should be a part of it, too.
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unfortunately, a lot of times we sit back and go, oh, the guns are what they are. no, we need to come forward and take responsibility and demand safet safety. and yesterday in chicago, was all kinds of bizarreness in the windy city, and the news and thele follow-up, and the 499 and the follow-up. that is next.
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friday morning, the story was everywhere. several media outlets reported that the city of chicago had reached the unfortunate benchmark of 500 murders in 2012. later in the day, the chicago police department released this statement seeking to as they put it clarify an inaccuracy concerning the number. quote, the department's official
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year to date murder total for the city of chicago is 499. one death investigation is still pending clarification. we appreciate your understanding in this matter. thank god it is only 499, and not 500. you can rest easy in the windy city. they have tried to walk back the 500 homicides and then including the roller coaster of p.r., jerry mccarthy issued this statement towards the end of the day. the city has seen the 500th homicide for 2012 and a tragic number reflective of the gang violence and the proliferation of guns that have plagued some of our neighborhoods. so one day with multiple statement statements and clarifications, all made it clear that the media narrative and the story of homicides and violence in the city of chicago is a concern to chicago, and they take it very seriously. back to the panel. joy, i thought that the grio in
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the moment of all of this, because i thought, there is no substantive difference of 499 and 500 chicagoans and the idea that they would come out in this way, and then come out again and then realize how bad it sounded, i thought, it matters to them how it is reported. it matters to them, because they are thinking of the economic development, and tax base and all of that. as the head of a black information source, as the head of the grio, how do you make that decision on the one hand not wanting to make our community seem like criminalized havens and on the other hand needing to report the truth of what is going on in our communities. >> it is funny, because it is a human proclivity for round numbers and false anniversaries that as an editor, 500 is an easier sort of salable headline and you gravitate toward it, but we have had the issue with chicago for a while at the grio where we have tried to report a steady stream of violence without turning chicago into a
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caricature, and it is different for us than "jet" magazine who has a print date and comes out to be done. there is no way to narrate it, and whereas we kuld do it -- wi could do it everyday and balance it with a more holistic narrative of who black people are, and in a lot of cases this is black on black violence and gang violence. so it is a tough call, because if you don't report it, who is? >> and this issue of who is reporting it, then up with thing we see alicia, with alternative media sources, and that they tell you stories that you will not hear other place, and it will change what you believe is important and on the agenda. >> the only thing that is important is people from our communities like you to perceive what we believe to be mainstream media. i remember in the trayvon martin case you said, you will remember
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his name, and that is a rallying cry for the rest of the media to realize that it is a important story and not just in black community, but america at large. one of the major differentials between the black community and the hispanic community is that you have managed to build institutions like "jet" and like the grio that we do not have in english language hispanic media and people like you who say, i'm a mainstream personality who happens to have my eye on my community, and until you do that, it is hard to infiltrate the stories into the mainstream media and then you will have people like ruiz who was killed in a small town pennsylvania by a group of people, and that is never a national story. that is is a problem. >> spanish language media is fup damt ally setting a different agenda and this point of penetrating that not only to the english language media, but mainstream language media.
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>> yes, they did a survey of the most trusted latina -- latino americ american, and it is great for hispanic viewers, but for nonhispanic viewers who want to listen in on a conversation that the hispanic community is having. >> we will have this on violence and crime, but also specifically how we think about reporting the issues in communities in a broader way. thank you to joy reid and i cannot believe that you came in for us again today. thank you so much. go home to take a nap. have some tea or something. >> yes. >> and coming up, labor strikes ba back. the trials and triumphs of 2012 and what is next in 2013. ale an] rocky had no idea why dawn was gone for so long... ...but he'd wait for her forever, for any reason, and would always be there with the biggest welcome home. for a love this strong, dawn only feeds him iams.
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welcome back. i'm melissa harris-perry. to say it has been quite a year
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for the labor movement, well, that may be the understatement of the year. let's take a quick review of some of the events that made headlines. in june, wisconsin unions were dealt a blow when efforts to recall anti-union governor scott walker failed. ally labors launched an extensive campaign but no match for the deep pockets of walker's donors. in september, chicago's teachers went on strike for the first time in 25 years. while they did get a pay raise they had to make concession like longer school days. and walmart organizers began to strike for holidays. and there was also michigan passing a right to work and making them the 24th state with such laws. the events of this year can leave anyone with mixed feelings and uncertainty about the future of organized labor, but that is looking at the glass half empty
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and in direct opposition of what labor has stood for in this country, hunkering down and getting the job down. uaw president bob king understands very well that the fight is far from over. >> we are going to continue until people know what this ideological agenda is. it is about suppression of women's rights, labor rights and immigrant rights and it is really about what kind of america do we want. the only way to win is to have a broad coalition to rebuild a social justice movement in the united states. >> bob gets it, but this year does not signal an end to the labor union, but labor is regrouping and reforming using the setbacks and the defeats as a springboard as renewed and more inclusive action. organized labor can no longer be just auto workers or electricians, be us manyt include hotel and retail and domestic workers as well, and rather than accept defeat, it is
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time to bridge the new and the old and create a model that is not just lame duck session and right to work proof, but sustainable and inclusive. joining us at the table is marc steiner host of the marc steiner show, and founder of the emerging media, and cynthia menend menendez and ed who is active in labor for over 40 years. ed, having looked at that history, is this glass half full or not? >> well, i would look at it half full, because i am biased. if you think about it, we have gone through 30 years where the workers have faced nothing but suppression of how the whole system is running. what unions do is to defend what people have. when you get into one of the periods where everything is being re-organized, we will play catchup, and the truth is in our
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history, we have trailed behind the changes in capital, if you will, by 25 or 30 or 50 years sometimes so what we saw this year is the beginning where the workers are figuring it out, $8 is not something that you have to accept, and disempowerment in the workplace is not something that you have to move along from one place to place with one low wage job to another and accept what it s. an old fashioned notion is new enagain, real wages and real jobs and respect and dignity on the job. that respect question is where the working people and their community-based organizations, they have been making this fight as immigrants, low-wage worker fworkers for a long time and the unions are partnering up. >> and the potential longshoreman strike that was just averted, and marc, you were talking about the trailing of capital and on the one hand we live in a new world where people have different information-based jobs and then you realize, and
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most of the stuff in the food and everything else that you have comes via a ship, and somebody has to take it off of the ship and put it on the railway or the truck, and this is the old-fashioned way of doing business. is there something that we learned in this narrower version of the longshoreman strike this week, marc? >> well, it is a good question. i was talking simply as a joke with one of the producers when i had the inside fact that there was going to be a strike and it didn't happen. but no strike. i think that there was, because it is a powerful union, and that union has some strength on the east coast. and so it was able to do certain things, but the problem is that, i think that the other part of that story is when you look at things like the steel workers, baltimore was a steel town. steel industry is gone. dead. union could not stop the closing of that plant. leo gerard who is head of the union wants to do things like having the workers to think about buying the companies they are in and make them cooperative
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businesses and thinking in different strategies and you have unions saying we have to keep the jobs and keep it going, but there has to be new strategies and unions have to start organizing again and there is a momentum move with the unions, and this can be a turn in the tide. i really do. >> and if anything, that's, the whole moment with with the dock worker workers and the industry is proof that if workers are not disempowered and can sit at the table as equals they can work it out and that what the whole post world war ii collective bargaining is about. respect everybody's interest, and allow both of to partners to work it out at the table, and a long time ago the dock workers decided they were not going to subsidize the industry with low unemployment, and they have made that fight their entire adult life. >> what happens is that we end up as taxpayers and we as workers end up subsidizing these corporations that are making enormous profits.
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right? is part of it though alycia, is part of it, part of the problem, that talking about having a talk talking head in the space that is from the community, and we are for the most part not unionized. some of the writers are wga, but some of the fact that some of the folks reporting on it are not themselves members of unions that keeps this from being the driving story, except for a few people like my colleague ed and other folks? >> well, i think that there are plenty of us who come from union households. my mom is a teacher, and that influences the way i cover unions, and that is part of it, but we do have to look at the unions in the narrative they are putting forward as well. that is something that we saw coming out of this year, and that is an excellent job of what these negotiations mean for each and every worker, and perhaps not done the same job of explaining the larger narrative of why the unions are important and what they contribute to the strong middle-class, and what a strong middle-class contributes to the economy and if the focus can shift for what it means to
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workers for what it means to the economy at large, that narrative has a place in mainstream media, and that the, you know, the one-on-one negotiations perhaps do not. >> it was surprising to me, though, as i was listening to the dock workers conversation this week, there was language coming out that some of them make as much as $100,000 a year, and i am thinking that everything that you have comes through their labor, but this very idea that workers ougt to be poor and ought to be underpaid and ought to not have health insurance, and good quality jobs and that should be reserved for the elite. >> well, what you are pointing out is a real huge shift in american society which is that the jobs that used to pay the best were not necessarily ones that required a ph.d. or even a college degree. i remember for npr, interviewing a family that double integrated dock workers in unions in los angeles. and the father racially integrated the union and the
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daughter gender integrated the union and neither highly educate and both of them made a very good living, but as a twist, when we look at labor, we have to look at how inclusive the labor unions are, and how much they advocate for people across race and gender, and we have to look at the strategy of labor unions in terms of is it about broadening the numbers of people who are participating in unios s or it is about protecting the interest of the feem who already have union membership? that is a critical case where when you talk about expanding the role of unions, you have to also talk about expanding the ranks of unions, because that is sometimes going to cut against the grain of cheollective bargaining rank for existing members, so without overcomplicating the things, we have to be aware that the overall percentage of american workers who have been unionized is slhrinking in part because o the destabilization of the
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market that is not educated. >> and the role of the union is a way to go broad and deep. and lord knows that the best paying jobs have nothing to do with having a ph.d. and stay right, there because we want to stay into question of l labor unions. we will talk about this new kind of labor. we want to talk about walmart when we come back. ♪ working 9 to 5 [ male announcer ] playing in the nfl is tough. ♪ doing it with a cold, just not going to happen. vicks dayquil -- powerful non-drowsy 6-symptom cold & flu relief. ♪ no matter what city you're playing tomorrow. [ coughs ] [ male announcer ] you can't let a cold keep you up tonight. ♪ vicks nyquil -- powerful nighttime 6-symptom cold & flu relief. ♪
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one of the highlights of the labor movement this year were the brave walmart workers who decided to stand up for living wages and health care and security. and this is seen as a great start -- excuse me. will it be singular event or a
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sign of things to come to change for workers at walmart? i want to drink water here. i am joined once again by my panel, but i also want to bring in from san francisco andria dellendorf who is the chief in making changes at walmart. >> good to be here this morning. >> what sort of gains did walmart workers make with this strike this year? >> well, the most important gain they made is that they proved that it is possible to stand up and speak out against the country's largest employer, and workers have faced low wages. they have faced lack of hours that walmart has been in existence, but it is the first time that walmart workers stood up. walmart threatened they would lose their jobs, but they all walked back in with their heads held high to tem brace of their coworkers so they proved that it is possible to stand up around
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the low pay and poor working conditions they faced. >> andrea, it feels like walmart is a perfect storm narrative about the current working conditions in the u.s. you have low-wage workers with difficult working conditions. you have consumers who want the low prices that are promised in part by the low wage workers and then you have a full global supply chain which because of our desire for those low wages creates not only bad working conditions here, but dangerous and low wages all around the world. is walmart ground zero for the sort of 21st century labor movement? >> we, it is certainly what we believe and why the workers are passionately committed to making change at walmart. if we can change walmart, we can change not only the american economy, but really working conditions for workers across the global supply chain, and that is what this fight is about. it is about the workers, themselves, as one of the panelists mentioned earlier, and
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it is about people like greg and charlene fletcher who are a married couple with two children who make $26,000 a year combined, and it is about wo workers in factories in bangladesh and the inland empire, but the whole economy, and there is a demos scenter wh put out a report that said if you raised wages at walmart and other retailers to $25,000 a year, it would have an incredible impact on the economy and lift 1.5 million worker os -- workers out of poverty. if they would make a change in the distribution chain, it would improve much more. if we can change walmart, we e can change the country. >> so, ed, ill feels to me that the walmart organizing and the nature of the strike is so different than what we think of the 1930s and the 1940s shop floor version of what initially generated an american labor
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movement. how does the old mesh with the new? >> well, to quote casey stengel, it is the same and different. people talk about the moment in 1930s, but that moment was preceded by grassroots organizing and not dissimilar to what the new age immigrants have been waging for the past 25 years in the country. organized labor movement in country, and you made the point which is very, very important, a lot of the established unions in an evident to protect the dues paying members and the members they have missed the opportunity to build meaningful productive relationships with the low-wage workers and immigrants, and nothing happened spontaneously, but through a process of interaction and struggle, we are seeing where the two great movements the new labor movement deeply rooted in the city, and the older labor movement that understands how the rules of the economy are played are fusing their interests, and beginning to lay the basis for a new standard for the american worker. >> andrea, before we go, i want
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you to tell us what we can be expecting from the walmart workers in 2013 as you point out that demos study giving us emperical evidence about the importance of the whole economy, and is there something of an action plan to look forward to into going into the new year? >> well, melissa, this black friday was the beginning of something, and when the strikers went back to work, they were embraced by their co-workers and more and more workers want to join us. there were 30,000 workers who stood with the workers at 1,000 stores around the country, and those folks are reaching out to uses, and they want to stay involved. we can expect it to grow and build. we will continue to stand up to walmart's threats and continue to fight until we change walmart. because it is really the most important thing that we can do to change the u.s. economy today is to continue to fight back against walmart. >> thank you, andrea dehlendorf,
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and thank you marc steiner here at the table. when we come back, we will talk about the labor union and it is about to morph into something completely different. we will talk about that when we come right back. ♪ she works hard for the money ♪ only citi price rewind automatically searches for the lowest price. and if it finds one, you get refunded the difference. just use your citi card and register your purchase online. have a super sparkly day! ok. [ male announcer ] now all you need is a magic carriage. citi price rewind. start saving at
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so talk to your doctor about low t. hey, michael! [ male announcer ] and step out of the shadows. hi! how are you? [ male announcer ] learn more at [ laughs ] hey! while the labor movement is still dealing with the ups and downs of 2012, it is time to look ahead to what can be accomplished in 2013. could smaller, community-based initiatives be the key to success for the larger labor movement? joining my discussion is jonathan westin, executive director for new york communities for change, and d k director of fast food forward. jonathan, a kind of local strike here in new york, a fast food workers and talk to me about what the strategy was around that. >> so probably a month ago now, hundreds of workers all across new york city went out on strike, and from mcdonald's to burger king to wendy's, to yum brands and kind of a mu
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multicorporation strike that workers went out on, and based on the fact that workers are continually paid poverty wages that keep them in poverty while they are still working. >> full time. >> people wish they could get the full-time hours, but they get the part-time hours and the $7.25 minimum wage pay and they cannot afford the rent and barely food, and sometimes they c cannot afford the take the train to work, so they walk miles to work, and it is winter and cold out now, and this is what people are going through everyday in the low-wage jobs, and also in walmart and the other industries in the economy that we are becoming. >> so if i'm a labor cynic, i say that people went out on a strike about a month ago around fast food and looks to me that fast food is about the same it was. so is this idea of strikes like this kind of a guerrilla warfare other than the chicago teachers strike that shut down the whole
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city and nobody can go to school, and the form of mediation. how do you take a small sort of guerrilla warfare strike like this, and turn it into real changes in fast food? >> well, like the woman from walmart talking before, this is a new tactic within the labor union, and not necessarily the strike tactic, but the tactic to have workers step up, go out, you know, go on strike, an confront management in a real way, and you know, be in their face about it, and then go back to work. it is -- it's the rules are so stacked against workers organizing, and that is one of the reasons that the labor union has been stuck in the bind, because workers are retaliated against over and over and over. we saw the target store in long island that was organized, and they were ready to vote for the union and then all of the intimidation tactics taking the workers in the back room saying you need to do this, this, this, and it is within the law, but
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when the labor union wants to do it, they want to crack down on the labor unions. >> this notion of ability to divide the workers and make sure that the unions are not strong is kind of what is behind right to work, and that is what is to intimidate the workers with the right to work. >> well, first of all it has nothing to do with your right to work, but it has to do with removing the ability to put yourself on the job. right to work laws are a set of laws that are designed to restrict the ability of a union to maintain a constant membership. so you are forced into a situation where you are are constantly expending resources to reorganize what you have. and the plan is to allow the employers to maintain the upper hand while the workers no, ma sy have the brand of law. and workers have to stand up to it. you will see it played out this year, and next year in michigan where you have a i hoohighly
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organized industrial force and highly organized white collar force, and they have to figure it out and make this fight, and we will see an interesting year ahead. >> it feels that part of what is happening is the transition away so when you talk about the fast food wage workers or the walmart workers or the doe mmestic work who we got data on for the first time this year in terms of the working conditions, that is different than the like the longshoremen and the auto workers and the shop floor, and it is more likely to be women, people of color, and immigrants sometimes with marginal status. how do we take the model that was at one point for the working man and transfer it to, you know, the spanish-speaking working woman who may have undocumented status? >> well, nuts and bolts peer organizing. florida's right to work is having huge growth in florida and they can't believe to the extent that sieu is grow, because they go into the hotels
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and place where is the workers are working and doing the one-on-one peer organizing and build building. it goes back to that, a trusted messenger, and another latina worker who comes the you in spanish to explain the value of the union and what it will mean for you and your family, boom, you are in. that is what it is about and not about going to back to what we used to do, but applying to a new demographic. >> and also, this argument that alicia is talking about, but why a value to pay the fast food workers more. some people think it is a 17-year-old with the summer job and it does not matter what they are being paid, but it is supplementing the household income, a nd how do we start changing the narrative or unions start changing the narrative so that we understand what unions do for all americans. >> well sh, i think they one ofe
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starting points is to really understand, you know, as we have been talking about the demographics of the people in the unions and what they are paid, and also the hidden costs that are accrued for the american people, and families on food stamps and families who cannot pay for their own basics, and instead of the company actually, you know, standing up and saying that we are going to pay you a living wage, the american people pay a backend wage or backend wage supplement. once we understand that we are in it one way or another, it is a living wage from our tax dollars to supplement a wage that you can't live on and then we understand more that it is not a when if they get paid less, and lose if they get paid more situation. it is a stake in people having a living wage. >> jonathan, the last one on this,situation.
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it is a stake in people having a living wage. >> jonathan, the last one on this, if there is is a strategi message, what it is? >> well, walmart jobs and sector jobs in this country are not going to be outsource d. they have to remain in the country, and this is is the economy that we will be and becoming, and the 1% corporations are understanding that, and they are cracking down on the workers who are passing the crazy laws like they did in michigan and wisconsin and all over the place, and they see where we are going. for the labor movement, and what we believe, i run a community organization and we are not a labor union, and the difference is that we have to meet wh th-- what they are doing with all of the forces we v and not just labor unions, but elected officials, and clergy and everybody standing up against the folks, because think know where we are going as a country and economy, and we do, too, and we have to continue to organize
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and mobilize against where they want to take us which is to continue the bring down the wage, and drain and pull money out of people's pockets that are working every single day, and we have to all stand up together and fight back against it. >> that is right. these are the jobs that can't be outsourced and they have to be livable jobs. thank you to the panel. up next, i have been waiting all year for this. our foot soldiers are here. i can't wait to meet them in person. [ male announcer ] you like who you are... and you learned something along the way. this is the age of knowing what you're made of. so, why let erectile dysfunction get in your way? talk to your doctor about viagra. 20 million men already have. ask if your heart is healthy enough for sex. do not take viagra if you take nitrates for chest pain;
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she knows the potential for making or losing money can pop up anytime. that's why she trades with the leader in mobile trading. so she's always ready to take action, no matter how wily... or weird... or wonderfully the market's behaving... which isn't rocket science. it's just common sense. from td ameritrade. since this show began in february, we have closed out nearly every saturday program with a segment called "foot soldiers" and it is a feature highlighting one person or group who has created positive action in the communities for change. this is large or small. and the foot soldiers have ranged from the three new jersey girls who was a presidential
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moderator, to dr. mcstuffins who shows girls they, too, can be doctors. and the father and son teen who got out to get out the vote for people during hurricane isaac and simply because they had a vote, and activism. all of our foot soldiers are changing our lives. f for the first time ever, i have a table full of them. and i am joined by a director of a support for children whose parents are in prison, and also, a founder for children of lgbt youth, and also project director of a center for victims of sexual assault, and also, the drek er tor of osborne association which offers rehabilitation for those in the criminal justice system.
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it is so great to have you all here. we wanted to end the work of thinking of the work that you are doing in the communities. sharon, you are in part dealing with a big institutional problem. how is it that when you are dealing with a big institutional question that sort of one person or one organization can start to make a difference? >> well, first, we have to initial initially look at the issue and how the impact of that issue in our community, and we have to start small. we serve as 200 young people who have a parent in prison at the time of enroll mement. we start small in bedford stuyvesant area, and we know it is a large issue, and take it step by step, and family by family, and child by child. >> and you are dealing with the same intractable system, the prison system, and you are in a space to do some of this work grow growing. >> and we actually did start a lot around the issue of how mass
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incarceration affects families, and more families have been separated by incarceration than any time since the end of slavery, and prison populations are starting to come down, but the kids are still affected. we work with whole families. we work with about 8,000 kids and family members and people coming out of prison a year. and i think that you do need the small hands on and the large. there is a lot of interest now in thinking about alternatives to jail and prisons and families are important. >> grace, the kind of systemic problem that you are facing around sexual assault is very different than the prison system, and it is not a set of rules and regulations that you are trying to alter or policies per se, but rather to work with survivors in the context of sexual assault. when you are facing something that enormous, what led you to sort of saying, okay, here is the gift that i have, and that i can use to make a difference?
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>> it was something that i stumbled upon. i wanted to create awareness of this issue. i wanted to bring focus to the fact that this exists, and i knew that i loved photography, and it was something that i needed to do. it is just step by step that we are getting there. and we are going to have a different world. >> and talk to me about it. in your work, you do images of assault survivors holding the words that their, the perp trayer tors said to them during the assault. why is that a healing experience for survivors? >> it is a way of letting go. these words can sit so deeply inside of someone. they are very rarely spoken to anyone else. they stay inside of someone. and by putting them on a poster, and claiming it and having the power, and taking the power back, it brings an entirely different view to it. >> carl, i want to come to you,
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because we were so moved by what happened in the case of the center, and you were doing great work, but you came to the context of hurricane sandy which massively damaged what you were doing. how does it feel when you are obviously facing a circumstance like homelessness and the ways in which it impacts the lgbt youth, and then suddenly, have a problem of a hurricane to show up to make things harder? >> it was unbelievably challenging time for us. our drop-in center that was destroyed by sandy was half a block from the hudson river, and the kid s ths that we serve thee the kids who don't have anywhere to stay. we have a number of housing sites, but in new york city, there are only 250 youth shelter beds provided for 3shgs 800 homeless kids. so these are kids who are in such desperate situations already sleeping on the trains,
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sleeping in abandoned buildings, and to have their kind of lifeline destroyed was really challenging. i was in a panic. a total panic and i did not know how we would take care of the kids. i didn't know how we would get to the next space. we had actually already obtained a new space, but we were months of being able to move into there, but the miracle to me of this whole thing was that within four weeks, we raised $400,000 from supporters and donors and concerned people. so, you know, it was almost like we had two hurricanes. the first was a hurricane of water that destroyed our space. but the second was like a hurricane of kindness and care and support that washed over us with love. >> you know, it is an interesting point, carl. in part as a new orleanian, we understand how a disaster can draw attention to a space and sometimes bringing the resources
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to it. but elizabeth, do we fail to see the ongoing disasters like the criminal justice center, and on one hand, you don't want the space to be destroyed by the external thing, but how do you draw attention to, hey, over he here, we need resources to help make this ongoing problem, and to address it? >> particularly when the foe fos that we serve are not on any neighbor's popularity list. you pointed out with mental health, and prisons are the largest providers of mental health services anywhere. the men that we have coming out of prison feel very strongly that they are raising money for gun buybacks, because they feel like they are coming home to communities that they planted the landmines and they want to go find them and pick them out, and instead of us seeing them as assets to the community who could actually pitch in on issues like gun violence, we isolate them and stigmatize them and say they are bad.
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so the challenge of, you know, i'd rather be raising monies and resources for puppies and children, but i got what i got. >> yeah. i like puppies and children a lot. but it is a similar issue, sharon, that even you have in your work. and when we come back, we will talk about the frustrations that come with foot soldiering, and i want to bring in one more foot soldier who is changing the lives of children a world away. new years clutter is no match for someone with big ideas. with a new project in mind, some how-to knowledge to give us an edge, and more savings down every aisle. it only takes a few twists and turns for those bright ideas to make the new year even brighter. more saving. more doing. that's the power of the home depot. start fresh and save with hdx 20 gallon totes, a special buy at just $5.88 a piece.
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we are back with the panel of foot soldiers who we featured throughout the year. right now i want to bring in one more person who you may have heard about for the first time right here on mmhp. katy is founder of more than me. it is a organization that works to increase educational opportunities for girls in liberia.
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and since we last told you about katy sh katy, her organization won a $1 million grant through the chase american giving awards. the new jersey native is a global traveler given her work, and today, katy miler joins us, and the foot soldier panel via skype from mexico city. good morning, katy. how are you this morning? >> fabulous. i love your show so much, and the listeners who are so supportive, and when we were on the show, we got more hits to the site than ever, and were so supportive to the contest that we won $1 million. >> what is next for your group because of the resources and i know that is one of the toughest things to do. >> we are building a all-girls academy for girls who are at
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risk of being sexually exploited. we are teach ing ting the girls entrepreneurship skills like baking and hair braiding and other skills, and we they will be able to use these trades to pay their own way through school, so it is really exciting. >> katy, i want to pull out to the panel a little bit, and grace, part of what you have been doing in the project unbreakable is that you are going global and going around the world now, and tell me about that. >> i just got back from london and pairs. i photographed in london and pairs early december, and it was so fascinating to the be able to bring my work out, and show that it happens to even. >> i feel leek i look at at katy and grace and see the energy and the enthusiasm and the incredible capacity to do the work they are doing internationally, but all of us who have been in the work at all, we know it can be exhausting over time and one of the toughest things that the
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foot soldiers have to do is to figure out a way to take care of themselves, so for all of the folks out there thinking and listening and wanting to start their own efforts, how do they make sure they care for themselves in the con ttext of caring for community? >> well, the balance is always a challenge. being a mom and wife, it is very challenging to be able to have your family as well as the responsibilities and the passion that you have towards your organization, but definitely, you have the support system around you and the individuals who are able to definitely let you know when there are times that you have to dedicate to other areas and spend some time to dedicate to yourself, and it is definitely a challenge, and the passion that you have for the organization and the young people that you serve is always in contention with your family responsibilities as well. >> and carl, sharon is talking about the passion, and passion is part of it, but another piece of it is anger. some of the work that you do and everyone does, you are angry with the circumstances and the idea for example that new york city allows so many young people to in fact be homeless.
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if you are are angry about something in the political world right now, how do people harness that for action? >> that is a really interesting question. i feel like i have two big emotional responses to what the kids go through. my first inclination is depression. you know, to see kids out on the streets with nowhere to sleep, and you know, riding subway trains and abandoned buildings, and i have been work on a project where i have been photographing the young people in the spaces where they sleep at night. you know, without shelter. and you know, i just cry when i am going home at night, but you know, i don't find that being depressed is helpful. so i try to turn that into anger. you know, like i'm going to be real that i am very angry with mayor bloomberg for allowing thousands of kids to be left out on the street at night. i was very angry for ali forney was murdered in harlem when he
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had nowhere to sleep. that makes me angry, and i take that anger and passion that i feel about it, and a, communicate it to the broader world, because i want other people to be angry that gay kids are thrown out of their homes and left on the streets without shelter, and b, engage other advocates and service organizations into a campaign to pressure the city to commit to shelter i sheltering all of the homeless kids out there. so we founded something called cam pin for youth shelter, and we are calling on mayor bloomberg to commit to a plan to provide a bed for every homeless kid. how can it be that in a city of new york with all of the money and the resources and the skill, we can't figure out a way to give homeless kids shelter beds? >> i love that the depression becomes anger, and the anger becomes action. thank you, katy, for joining us via skype. and we are going to be joined by
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alex witt, but that is not alex. that is t.j. is that you? >> yes. don't adjust the television sets. he lis is a, so good to be with you and let me get through the preview before they kick me off of msnbc as soon as i get here. and the fiscal cliff deal, and are we going to get it done? we will talk to three top lawmakers and they are not in washington yet. and you have been hearing about the movie "django unchained" and the tarantino film has sparked controversy and also a feud between two top directors. and you will get some alex witt this weekend, because she talked to lester holt about what he got dragged into doing on his thanksgiving vacation. and also a lot of people ringing in the new year, and there are going to be issues with snow. s causing issues with people returning back home after the holidays. get ready. we'll have all that. so yes, melissa, good to see you
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this weekend. >> thanks, t.j. as t.j. might say, don't sleep on our legendary foot soldier who still inspires us all. by t? by the barrelful? the carful? how the bowlful? campbell's soups give you nutrition, energy, and can help you keep a healthy weight. campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do.
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some good news this week for a man we consider one of the world's ultimate foot soldiers. former south african president nelson mandela was released from the hospital wednesday. the 94-year-old nobel peace prize winner remains an international icon. now a whole new generation of foot soldiers is being introduced to mandela's legacy through an exhibit at the international center of photography in new york. it's called "rise and fall of apartheid" photography and the bureaucracy of everyday life. take a look. >> i'm mark robins, the director of the international center of photography in new york. apartheid existed for all of my life and was something that existed as a fact. and i think part of what's so interesting in the exhibition is we look at the way in which
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apartheid was so completely normalized in the day-to-day life in south africa. i was just watching the footage of nelson mandela being freed in 1990. it's a very moving piece of footage. so mandela is a symbol of that freedom for the entire country. history often seems like it happened to somebody else a long time ago and no longer has any relevance. >> seeing the pictures you're like wow, you realize that it actually was happening and may actually have been worse. a lot of the things that are happening in these images are actually stilli still happening today in syria and egypt and darfur. >> when we see images of the american south with the two different water fountains, the colored water fountain and the whites only water fountain. and we think about that as some odd historical curiosity. that only went out of existence 50 or 60 years ago. apartheid is a much more recent
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story. >> my photo class came here really to broaden our perspective on photography and politics and just humanity in general. because that will influence how we seat world. >> when you're seeing the terrified faces of all these people that are going through the protests, and all the people being carried off bloody after being shot by police in peaceful protests, it just shows the world that ignorance really does have its own effect. >> by looking at the images you can kind of see the raw emotions, the expresses of the people, and you could feel what they're feeling and feel their pain, see their anxiety. >> growing up with a white parent and a black parent, it's kind of different for me to see that it's so hard for these two races to get along when i've seen myself that it's possible. >> i know the basic gist of what went on and that there was segregation and that there was some terrible things that went on in south africa and that still continue to go on. but i didn't know the extent to it, the violence behind it.
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>> for us to understand the cyclical nature of history, to understand that history is always something in flux, and also history is something that we have a hand in, individuals banded together to change the society in which they lived. that's a very powerful notion for us today to think that in fact we do have power as individuals and we have power as a collective to actually effect change. >> the exhibit closes on january 6. president mandela is now at home in johannesburg so that he can be close to his doctors. we join people around the world in wishing the beloved leader a full recovery. that is our show forred to. thank you to our foot some jeld. i hope our foot soldiers have inspired now. now is the time. go to the mhp facebook page and give up the name of somebody in your community who's a foot soldier who we should know more about. and join us tomorrow. we're going to have a panel of
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comics breaking it down. the year in political absurdrit. coming up "weekends with alex witt" with t.j. holmes. meet the five-passenger ford c-max hybrid. c-max says ha. c-max says wheeee. which is what you get, don't you see? cause c-max has lots more horsepower than prius v, a hybrid that c-max also bests in mpg. say hi to the all-new 47 combined mpg c-max hybrid.
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